Experts will discuss workforce development as part of efforts to meet emerging demands
Todd Barnum, president and COO of Linton Crystal Technologies, has been invited by the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) to speak at SEIA’s Solar+ Manufacturing Summit. This summit will be held immediately following RE+ Midwest in Chicago on Wednesday, November 15. The event will provide attendees with a half day of programming on a variety of solar and clean energy manufacturing topics. Barnum will speak as part of the session titled, “Building the Manufacturing Workforce.”
“I’ve always been a proponent of bringing solar manufacturing back to the United States and am optimistic about current initiatives toward that goal,” says Barnum. “We have legislative support and multiple companies taking steps to make that happen. A key component of the manufacturing plan is the ability to raise a skilled workforce ready to step in at the level necessary for us to be competitive. Linton has been taking steps to ensure this happens and we are looking forward to sharing insights with others on how to do so industry wide.”
The U.S. has established a goal of reaching 50 gigawatts (GW) of U.S. solar manufacturing by 2030. During a session led by Erika Symmonds, VP of Equity and Workforce Development for SEIA, experts will focus on the hundreds of thousands of new jobs required to reach this 50GW goal. This includes addressing who will recruit the workforce as well as how to provide critical training and skills—and with what partners. Guest speakers will share how they’re building the manufacturing workforce, including case studies and specific examples.
Barnum will bring insight to the panel as someone whose company has worked directly with educational institutions from the middle school to college levels to provide skills and insights into a future in solar manufacturing. Linton has partnered with Santosh Kurinec, a Fellow of IEEE and Professor of Electrical and Microelectronic Engineering at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), to assist with the entry level photovoltaics course taught there. The company also is working with the Golisano Institute for Sustainability at RIT on a study, “Improving Process Quality and Yields through Machine Learning.” Additionally, Linton has for the past two years sponsored the Summer Advanced Manufacturing Experience (SAME) program. SAME is a free, three-week opportunity that enables eighth and ninth grade students to experience first-hand advanced manufacturing skills while earning college credits. The program is presented by Wayne Finger Lakes BOCES, in partnership with Finger Lakes Community College; it takes place at the Wayne Technical and Career Center, in Williamson, New York.
Located in Henrietta, New York, Linton is the world leader in the design, development and manufacture of Czochralski silicon furnaces for production of monocrystalline silicon ingots for the semiconductor and solar industries. The company specializes in silicon and produces equipment for materials such as germanium and gallium arsenide. They also provide technical support, process engineering support and replacement parts to help clients get businesses off the ground, improve productivity and continue to innovate. Linton has been the exclusive owner of Kayex technology since 2013.